Welcome to india..it is good hear about your dream to ride a motorcycle in india to the himalayas
What would be the most scenic time to visit this area as we do not mind the cold.
since you want to ride in the himalayas...a couple of pointers
himalayas is too huge to be ridden in one month...since it covers the complete northern boundary of india..the best thing would be to pick up a part of it and ride
if you wanna ride
Jammu & Kashmir & ladakh -from june to early october..since during the other months the passes which lead to the these regions are blocked due to snow
Himachal Pradesh-lahaul & Spiti and Kinnaur & kalpa regions from june to early october
Himachal pradesh-other regions like Dharmshala,chamba & Kullu Manali ,Shimla any time of the year
Uttranchal-Lower regions any time of the year,Higher Regions Feb to November-though may encounter rain in July & August
Sikkim & Darjeeling Hills-March-Mid May & Late September -mid november
Northern Eastern india -regions like Arunachal pradesh,Assam,Meghalaya,Nagaland & Mizoram from Feb-early May and late September to mid november...though there are permission problems and safety issues in some part of this region
What are the cc of motorbikes normally avaliable to rent in india? What are the prices in U.S dollars? Is there a website anyone knows of with scenic routes? Should we find rental company on internet or wait until we are there as it would be cheaper?
The motorcycles available in india are in the range of 100 CC to 500CC the brands available are Enfield bullet i.e 350CC and 500CC and the rest which are between 100CC and 220 CC are Bajaj,TVS,Honda,Suzuki,yamaha etc
I would recomended Royal Enfield Bikes for himalayan touring since it is comfortable...and easily can carry the rider and the loaded saddle bags and extra fuel.
Many operators in Delhi,Manali,Chandigarh and Goa give motorcyles on hire costing around 15-25 dollars a day and fuel is exclusive or the other option is to buy a motorcycle in one of these ..which is quite affordable and you can sell it when you leave the country and used bikes come with a good price approximately from the range 500-800 dollars depending on the year of manfacture.and you could sell it for around 80-90% of the amount you purchased.
On routes:there are plenty of route..but the most travelled route by a motorcycle is the Ladakh you can google and get complete info on the place,writeups on previous rides and distances to travel.
It would be advisable to contact operators when you are in india than through internet since it would be reliable and easier to bargain for good deal and there are people who have been mislead who have contacted tour operators through internet
For a month long trip where would you recomend landing to start trip?
if you are planning to northern india i,e ladakh,kashmir,Himachal & Uttarnchal then landing in delhi would be ideal,since it near to move to all these places,if you want to go the eastern himalayan region i.e sikkim,darjeeling,northeastern india then landing in Kolkatta would be ideal.but availablity of motorcycle could be a problem since not much choices in that city
let me know if you want anyother info